Kathua attack: Army, CRPF launch joint search operations to track down militants

JAMMU — A massive joint search operation was launched on Tuesday to track down militants responsible for the deadly attack on an army patrol party in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district that left five personnel dead, officials said.

They said the ground search teams are being supported by helicopter and UAV surveillance.

Sniffer dogs and metal detectors are also being employed in the operation with a focus on some dense forest areas in the belt.

Officials said the joint cordon and search operation was launched by army, police and CRPF in in Machedi, Badnote, Kindli and Lohai Malhar areas and a large area has been put under cordon.

Five army personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer, were killed and as many were injured on Monday when heavily armed militants ambushed a patrolling party in the remote Machedi area.

According to sources, three to four militants, mostly foreigners, are believed to have executed the attack.

They are part of the same group which was involved in Basangarh attack in which a village defence guard Mohd Sharief was killed in an encounter with militants on April 28 in Panara village.

Security forces had in June picked up movement of one group in the upper reaches of Bani, Daggar and Kindli areas of Kathua district and conducted search operations. — (PTI)